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Old 09-11-2020, 04:38 PM   #25
William McKenzie
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,038
Default Re: Who invented the bagpipes?

Definitely fascinating. Great thread, thanks for all the viewpoints.

Not sure if this is along the same lines or not but I also find the future of bagpiping, Highland piping at least, to be fascinating. Which instrument aspects will settle with traditional vs. what will be accepted from the current trends to be the new normal. For example, when I was beginning to learn the pipes in 2008 there were a lot of changes happening that I didn't fully become aware of until later. None of these are good or bad in my opinion but just more interesting the natural shifts to what becomes standard.

For one, Rocket Reeds were a huge deal then prompting questions of 'a final' cane replacement. There weren't that many types of synthetic reeds at the time and only a few were 'polished' for lack of better wording. Today, there are so many quality options it is more about finding your sound than replicating/replacing cane. I only seem to see cane mentioned now (if at all) in talks around Glenfiddich, Bratach Gorm, or Worlds. Even then, it is usually only the bass reed with synthetic tenors. When I started out cane was the minority for sure, but it still had a strong place and lots of back and forth about trade offs of going synthetic in discussions. Cane today looks like tone chasing.

Along the same theme there were lots of people playing hide bags such as L&M. I recall that many didn't desire something like a hybrid synthetic because they had become familiar with the non-hybrid floppy bags, the feel of newfangled grommeted tie in, or found the shape too odd compared to traditional skin bags. Ross, Monarch, Shepherd, Canmore, Moose, Bannatyne and the list goes on. Now however, they have become more refined in the last 10-15 years and synthetic bags and grommets, particularly hybrid versions, are firmly considered the standard normal with the best/most consistent moisture control. They are even played at the highest competitions. To get no grommets you have to special order in many cases including many skin bags. So newer normal here too.

There are other aspects I'm sure others can point out such as the bulky moisture control systems which were really, really big and standard for a number of years and now seem to have dialed back with the continued refinement of synthetic bags. And skin bags are starting to adapt to adding zippers.

I'm curious about all of this as it's interesting to me to see what advances forward to become normal and what age old pieces are kept as tried and true. I actually find myself in a position now where I may be purchasing a goatskin bag for different ergonomics after years on hybrid and several hide bags. Yet I also use Drone Dry stocks which are newfangled (relatively) but do a great job of keeping moisture off the drone reeds and out of the bores.
Happy Piping
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